I watched yet another Ted Talk video during this pandemic and found a man so comfortable in his weirdness, it brought me back… WAY back.
Who called me weird?
When I was a child, a little girleen, a boy my same age, in my class at school, who lived down the road from me, called me “weird.” He didn’t say it in an observant, barely interested way, he said it loaded, pointed, twisted. He made his tone condescending, to demonstrate to other people that I was to be ridiculed, laughed at because he said I was “weird.”
Was I weird?
Then I noticed all the things that made me different to everyone else. I labelled everything unique about myself “weird.” When I had a joke that I knew only some people would find funny, I didn’t tell it, out of fear of being called “weird”. When I wanted to express an opinion on a topic in school, I didn’t raise my hand.
It was a negative perspective of me. He looked at me and saw my unique traits, the things that make up me, my way of looking at the world, my quirks, my jokes, my funny voices, my way of dressing, my own invented games, and he criticised me in front of my peers in an attempt to ostracise me. He tried to make me feel like I should not be myself, but if I am not myself, then I would only be a copy of someone else. And as there are already unpleasant people in the world, I would hate to run the risk of turning into one of them.
I am weird. You can define how I dress as weird. You can say how I speak is weird. Someone close to me often says that my behaviour “is a bit weird” with the same level of fear as though I said I own a loaded weapon.
Was that a bit weird?
Is it just that you are afraid? Of who I am? And if I call myself weird, am I afraid of who I am?
Is “weird” just a cloak term for “any behaviour that I find abnormal”? My weirdness, yet, I don’t want to call it that, is the very jumble of things that make me different to everyone else. It is not something to be afraid of. It is something to be embraced. And celebrated.
Happy New Year, Weirdos! 🙂